Adi Warsidi, Banda Aceh – The number of cases of human rights violations in Aceh following the signing of the Helsinki agreement between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has declined.
“Perhaps this is because there is peace and all parties respect the peace agreement”, said M. Isa, the head of the data division of the Coalition of Non-Government Organisations on Human Rights – Aceh, when speaking with Tempo in Thursday October 27.
This decline in human rights violations continued Isa, has occurred not only in terms of quantity but also in quality. Even when human rights violations do occur, in general they are limited to minor cases such as threats which do not result in the loss of life – demand for taxes, illegal payments and extortion which are being committed by certain parties.
“In the past, many of the cases that occurred were murders, forced disappearances and abductions. [So] in fact the minor cases occurring in the past were not very conspicuous and [therefore] not monitored”, said Isa.
According to Isa, this decline is evidence of the many parties that can uphold the peace agreement in Aceh. Isa hopes that over the next period there will be no more human rights violations in Aceh.
During the period of civil emergency, the organisation recorded hundreds of cases of human rights violations in Aceh. They recorded 623 people who were victims of gross human rights violations such as abuse/injury, abductions/disappearances and arrests. Out of these, 231 were members of GAM, the military/police and civilians who died during this period.
[Translated by James Balowski.]